Theology research degrees

How to applySociology and Social Sciences

Our programmes

Part of the School of Education and Social Sciences, our Theology research degrees are broadly themed around culture, religion and society. This emerging area of work draws together studies of contemporary cultural practices, their inter-relationships and their social impacts, including in the media and the digital world.

Our work is supported by the well-established Centre for Spirituality Studies and includes both empirical and theoretical work.

We offer three levels of research degree in Theology; MRes, MPhil and PhD. Due to the new interdisciplinary work within the field, these programmes bring together social scientists and arts and humanities researchers from across the University and beyond.


The main emphasis of the programme is on the research dissertation of 20,000 words, the topic being chosen by you with the advice of your supervisor. It is designed to develop your research skills and will particularly suit those who wish to progress to an MPhil or PhD.


During this two-year programme (three years part-time) you will write a thesis between 40,000 and 70,000 words. It is suitable for those who want to work on a dissertation for a shorter period of time and who do not necessarily want to pursue a research career. You can study for an MPhil in any area of theology or religion in which we are able to offer expert supervision.


During this four-year programme (seven years part-time) you will research and write a dissertation of 70,000 to 100,000 words on a theological or religious topic chosen in conjunction with your supervisor.


We welcome applications to undertake research in all the main branches of Theology. Research by social scientists at Hull aims to have a positive impact of the life conditions and experiences of individuals and communities, at a local, national and global level.

Culture, Religion and Society

Our work is supported by the Centre for Spirituality Studies which exists to:

  • Promote interdisciplinary research and scholarship which develops understanding of spirituality
  • Provide opportunities for advanced study and research training in spirituality
  • Offer a forum for community and inter-faith engagement with the study of spirituality

Research specialisms include;

  • Church as communion
  • Contemporary ethical problems
  • Doctrine of the Trinity
  • Faith and truth
  • History of Christian ethics
  • Interpreting religion practice
  • Natural theology
  • Philosophy and cultures
  • Philosophical theology
  • Social doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church
  • Symbol and sacrament

Staff: Mr Paul Dearey

  • Theology/religion and popular culture
  • Religion and body
  • Religion and technology
  • Religion and film

Staff: Dr Alexander Ornella

  • Children and families
  • Professional education
  • Professional ethics
  • Religion and spirituality

Staff: Dr. Caroline Humphrey

Other research themes within the school of social sciences include;

  • Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Gender and Sexualities
  • Globalisation, Power and Post-Colonialism
  • Health, Well-being and Social Inclusion

Admissions status

Open for admission in 2018/19

Research options

MPhil: 2 years (full-time) / 3 years (part-time)

PhD: 4 years (full-time) / 7 years (part-time)

MRes: 1 year (full-time) / 2 years (part-time)


Home/EU: £4,195 (full-time) / £2,098 (part-time)

Overseas: £12,800 (full-time)

These fees are for all Theology research degrees research programmes on this page. For courses lasting more than one year, small annual increases may apply. For more information, please visit

The Postgraduate Training Scheme

It is now widely recognised by employers, professional bodies and research funding agencies that specialist expertise alone is not sufficient preparation either for research or a subsequent career. With this in mind, the University of Hull requires all its postgraduate research students to follow a research training programme relating both to their particular field of study and to generic skills; for example, information technology and communication skills.

Postgraduate Training Scheme

Next steps


For information about bursaries and how to fund your studies see our money page, or take a look at our PhD scholarships page for specific funded PhD opportunities.

Entry requirements

A good Honours degree (or Masters degree) or equivalent in theology, religious studies, or a related subject, or appropriate experience in a professional environment.

PhD and MPhil applicants are expected to have some prior research training at postgraduate level or equivalent, a clear idea of the field in which they wish to work, and to be capable of writing a two or three-page proposal setting out their research questions, the kind of empirical research they visualise, the reasons they wish to undertake the research and a general indication of the theoretical background and approach.

International students (language requirements)

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study or if your first language is not English you will be required to provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency level.

This course requires IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each skill. For other English language proficiency qualifications acceptable by this University, please click here.

If your English currently does not reach the University?s required standard for this programme, you may be interested in one of our English language courses.


We are a multidisciplinary School of Education and Social Sciences with a distinctive profile of teaching and research that brings together a world class staff with expertise in Anthropology, Criminology, Gender Studies, Media, Religion, Sociology, and Social Work.

Research by social scientists at Hull aims to have a positive impact on the life conditions and experiences of individuals and communities, at a local, national and global level.